Early this past Thursday morning, around 1:00 a.m., D&B unceremoniously slashed commercial Credit Limit Recommendations for all U.S. businesses by one-third. You probably never even knew it happened. It wasn't on the morning news. You can't do a Google search to get more information about it. No alarm bells went off. There were no email alerts... no warnings, no trending headlines or breaking news... and no explanation... Why didn't anyone else notice this?
What caused this? Is it some kind of an indicator brought on by the Feds cutting points off interest rates? Was it spurred by President Trump announcing he wants to devalue the dollar? Or is this just an anomaly? A glitch in D&B's software?
So far, I can't tell. Erring on the side of caution, I've waited a couple days in case it was just something quirky going on in D&B's algorithms or software but, as of today, there's no change. From where I stand, it looks legit!
What I can tell you is that this unannounced shift in commercial credit capacity appears to be indiscriminate, aimed at businesses of every size and capability, age and industry, and most business owners (even those who DO monitor their business credit) won't even know it happened since no alerts went out announcing it. Other credit enhancement companies who do what I do hadn't noticed the change until I started asking around.
My clients wouldn't have known either, except I noticed, one client at a time, report-by-report, while manually reviewing their files the way I do every morning. It started as a fluke, a change in one client's file with no outside indicators of WHY his CLRs would have changed. By the third client's report, I saw the trend. By the fifth, I could see a distinct pattern. By the fifteenth, I was preparing a mass email to go out... but I hesitated because I wanted to be sure.
If this DOES turn out to be a software glitch, I'm glad I played a part in bringing it to their attention. If it isn't a fluke — if this is truly signalling a shift in commercial credit recommendations for ALL U.S BUSINESSES — then every small business owner needs to start rethinking not only how, when, and under what circumstances they are going to be able to borrow funds or finance major purchases, but also how much credit their own company can afford to extend to their own customers.